Child sexual abuse is still such a taboo but I can’t help but want to talk about it. I’m 23 years old this year and I am also nine years free from abuse. When I say I am nine years free from abuse I am not including the years I spent battling for justice through the Irish legal system. Nine years really isn’t that long in a way and it’s easy to forget that I was gripped by controlling and disgusting men for the majority of my life. Surviving those nine years involved a lot of coping mechanisms, I’m going to tell you about my list in this post.
When I was younger, maybe about sixteen years old, I made a list of people to contact if and when I needed to. Some of the names on the list were of people who I could really trust and others were good to have a laugh with. I felt lucky to have so many people to call upon. I felt like I had a safety net in place with so many people happy to help me but now that list is so much smaller yet that doesn’t make me feel like I’m alone. It actually gives me independence to stand alone when the world is weighing me down, strength to stand tall despite all else and wisdom to see that just because someone does not remain in your life permanently does not mean that they should be crossed off of your list.
That list got me through some difficult times. No, difficult isn’t the right word actually. It got me through the moments when my little world was spinning out of my control, when I was carrying on like the walls I built weren’t crumbling around me and like I wasn’t ready to just give up on everything. That list was once my lifeline and just because the list is smaller it doesn’t mean that it is now something I no longer appreciate. My list was one of my safer ways of coping. I must tell you all that the people on this list didn’t actually know they were on the list or even that such a list existed and probably don’t know how much of an impact they had on my life. People put me in hell but other people helped me to find my way back.